A manuscript is found: filled with small, precise writing and smelling of pit-water, it tells the story of an old recluse and his strange home - and its even stranger, jade-green double, seen by the recluse on an otherworldly plain where gigantic gods and monsters roam.
Soon his more earthly home is no less terrible than his bizarre vision, as swine-like creatures boil from a cavern beneath the ground and besiege it. But a still greater horror will face the recluse - more inexorable, merciless and awful than any creature that can be fought or killed.
The Horror Writers Association continues its Haunted Library of Horror Classics series with this reprint of Hodgson's eerie 1908 novel, a pioneering work in the weird fiction canon. Two travelers in Ireland come across a large house that has half-fallen into an immense pit surrounded by brambles and overgrowth. Within the house, they discover a tattered diary written by an unnamed man, referred to in footnotes as the Recluse, who lived in the house with his sister turned housekeeper, Mary, and canine companion, Pepper, his only friend. The Recluse writes of the unimaginable horrors he's experienced while living in the house, encountering demons he calls the "swine-things" and descending into madness as he visits otherworldly dimensions and sees visions of the end of the world. Even seasoned horror readers will be taken in by the atmosphere of existential dread Hodgson evokes in the Recluse's descriptions of his torment. An introduction by contemporary horror titan Ramsey Campbell, a brief account of Hodgson's life, and footnotes throughout add helpful context that will ease readers into Hodgson's uncanny world. Weird fiction fans should snap this up.